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(G20) G-20 current account guidelines to reflect national differences: IMF head
SEOUL, Nov. 12 (Yonhap) -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will set "indicative guidelines" to reduce excessive current account imbalances that reflect different conditions of G-20 countries, the head of the global lending agency said Friday.

   Shortly after leaders from the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies agreed to establish viable guidelines to reduce unsustainable surpluses and deficits, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn told reporters that many factors need to be considered in the coming months.

   "The IMF needs to take into account many elements that reflect different circumstances," he said. He pointed out that while setting uniform targets like linking the size of a surplus or deficit to the gross domestic product is easy, it is not practicable.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn speaks to reporters following the G-20 summit meeing in Seoul on Nov. 12. (Yonhap)

Without going into details, he pointed out that the size of a sustainable current account imbalance cannot be the same for advanced and developing economies and countries that are oil exporters.

   The Leader's Declaration, announced by President Lee Myung-bak earlier in the day, called on the IMF and other global bodies to come up with a viable system to determine which countries are experiencing imbalances in the first half of 2011, with the G-20 to sign off on it before the next summit is held in France.

   On concerns that the G-20 and the IMF may not be able to enforce guidelines that are made, Strauss-Kahn admitted there is no way to compel countries to follow, but he felt that there was consensus to make changes in order to prevent greater problems down the road.

   "Once a guideline is made it will have an impact and there will be a way to enforce it," he said.

   Strauss-Kahn cautioned that the process will take time, even if a guideline is made, but expressed confidence that the G-20 is up to the challenge of following through on its pledge.